McAdam: Sox folds becoming routine


McAdam: Sox folds becoming routine

NEW YORK -- When the Red Sox last visited Yankee Stadium and dropped the first game of a three-game weekend series, second baseman Dustin Pedroia complained that the Sox had rolled over in the late innings of a 10-3 shellacking, needlessly giving away at-bats.
Pedroia didn't offer the same criticism Friday night when the Sox lost another series opener to the Yankees under suspiciously similar circumstances, even though the final score -- New York 6, Boston 4 -- was more respectable.
In fact, Pedroia didn't say anything at all. As reporters waited to speak to him, Pedroia turned and walked out without comment.
It's impossible to know what was on Pedroia's mind and it's folly to try to guess. But had he chosen to speak, he could have been excused for uttering the very same words he had spoken on the night of July 27.
"We didn't do anything. Our at-bats later in the game were not good -- swinging early in the count and hacking... Do something productive. And we're not doing that. That's a sign of not a winning team. It's frustrating."
Three weeks later, not much has changed. Pedroia brought the Sox back from a 3-0 deifict in the third when he banged a three-run homer to left field off Phil Hughes, giving the Sox a 4-3 lead.
But after that third inning eruption, the Sox managed just three more baserunners the rest of the way.
In three of the final four innings, the Sox were retired 1-2-3.
The Sox, who have had success against Hughes in the past, had succeeded in running his pitch count up in the early innings.
"We kind of let Hughes off the hook," lamented manager Bobby Valentine. "We had him on the ropes there. He had 77 pitches in four (innings) and then gave them a couple of innings where we hit some balls real early in the count and got him back in the game."
Indeed, after averaging almost 20 pitches an inning through the first four, Hughes needed just 29 pitches over the final three frames. In two of those innings, the Sox got a baserunner on first base, but failed to advance him either time.
"Very frustrating," sighed Carl Crawford of the offensive showing. "Could have been you've got to give credit to (Hughes) and we probably had some bad at-bats. Probably a combination of both."
The Sox worked exactly one walk over nine innings and, beyond third -- during which all four of their runs were unearned -- never pieced together a sniff of a threat.
The impatient approach didn't change when the Yankees went to the bullpen, either. David Robertson got three outs (and allowed a single) on 11 pitches, while closer Rafael Soriano set the Sox down in order on 14 pitches.
It's one thing to lose games, as the Red Sox have been doing with increasingly regularlity. But it's another thing entirely to fold after falling behind. Sadly, that, too, is becoming something of a hallmark in the last month.

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."